Thursday, June 14, 2007
Luke M. Wilson, Shawn Nelson, and Joseph Naylor
Description of an Ice Cream Scoop
An ice cream scoop is a kitchen gadget, much like a spoon or ladle, that uses a mechanical scraper to help release the scoop from the bowl. The device consists of two main sections: a fixed portion—which is used to scoop the ice cream—and the mechanical “scraper” portion.
The fixed portion is composed of two subsections; the first of which is a six inch plastic handle. Enclosing one end of the handle is a four inch rubber hand grip with grooves near the thumb & forefinger locations and has hole about an inch from the end for hanging storage. Adjacent to the grip, just above the grooves, is a plastic finger guard. Attached to the handle opposite the grip is the second subsection, a hemispherical, stainless-steel bowl, which is three inches in diameter and is used for containing the scooped ice cream.
The mechanical assembly is composed of three subsections; the first of which is a semicircular, stainless-steel scraper mounted on the interior of the bowl by two pivot points: one just above the handle, the other on the opposite side. Through the handle pivot point, the scraper connects to the second subsection, a geared, stainless-steel shaft that is parallel to the handle and ends in the finger guard. The shaft’s gear is a half inch from the finger guard and meshes with slots in a rounded triangular or “bell-shaped” metal plate, the final subsection. Opposite these slots is a screw that allows the the plate to pivot and affixes it to the handle. Additionally, the plate has two flanges which serve as stops—one of these also provides space for a plastic thumb press. Between the plate and the handle is a spring which returns the scooper to the default position after the thumb press is released.
Typical operation of an ice cream scoop occurs in the following fashion:
- using the device as a spoon, ice cream is scooped into the bowl
- positioning over a serving dish, force is applied to the plastic thumb press
· which pivots the triangular plate
· in turn spinning the gear
· that rotates the shaft and
· drags the scraper along the bowl’s inner surface, freeing the ice cream
- releasing the thumb press, the spring returns the scooper to the original position
While it is known as an “ice cream scoop”, this device can be used for any relatively malleable material, such as mashed potatoes or cookie dough. Also, because of small parts, like the scraper and gear, the ice cream scoop should only be used by persons 12 years of age or older.